Italian in a lively, upscale dining. 

Average: 2 (1 vote)

The buzz: Run by the same team behind Signor Sassi, the concept here is much more energetic, casual and fun. Inspired by the types of small Italian dishes served in Northern Italy, Chef Filippo Pagani is running the kitchen while Marco Berti, restaurant manager, is front of house.

The décor: There's a similar vibe to the Cicchetti in London—lively yet casual. The splashes of vivid yellow and beautiful marble work are the main appeal of the place, especially during the day when the light streams in through the wall-to-ceiling windows. The sizeable and energetic open kitchen is crammed with staff busy pan-frying, catching  lobsters or making pizza and pasta. There’s a small terrace looking onto Rama 1 Road if you care for a cigarette.

The food: Resolutely Italian from a la carte options that are great for sharing to a six course set menu at B1,590. The menu is partly seasonal but you can also expect their classic pizza and homemade pasta dishes. The suppliers are the same as at Signor Sassi so that means tomato and lemon imported from Siciliy or prosciutto from famous San Daniele. Pizzas, like pizza fritta(B150)—thin, fluffy and stuffed with ham and cheese, are made to order, while pasta includes tagliatelle bolognese (B160) and spaghetti lobster (B590). We’ve also spotted a lot of customers visiting just for the decadent-sounding lobster burgers (B490).

The drinks: They concentrate on Italian wines with a good  choice by the glass ranging from B130-B645 that come with a brief profile and tasting notes. Regular beers include Asahi (B90) and Morena (B190).

The crowds: Couples enjoying dinner, hi-sos and celebrities checking in on their Instagram.

With its grand Venetian theme, high ceilings, well-groomed wait staff and immaculately presented open kitchen, Cicchetti looks like a restaurant powerhouse. On a Friday evening, the dining room is buzzing with well-dressed upper-middle-class customers enjoying lengthy dinners with their friends.
However, like much of Cicchetti’s food, our expectations are drowned in intense sauces and overpowering dressings. The duck salad (B290) is a perfect example. Despite using flavorful duck confit, Italian apples and top-notch arugula leaves, the dish fails to deliver its true potential due to an overly sweet and acidic balsamic dressing. It’s a similar story with the monkfish in tomato lobster sauce (B590), whose fish is lost in a strongly acidic tomato-based butter that has zero trace of lobster flavor. This is a shame, because the monkfish itself, while perhaps having seen fresher days, is cooked perfectly and retains plenty of moistness. The accompanying fresh salad also tastes slightly like soil.
In a break from Cicchetti’s overpowering sauces, the pizza margherita (B140) suffers the opposite fate, topped with a marinara sauce that is far too bland to cut the richness of the cheese. During our last visit, there was plenty of time to soak in all this disappointment, thanks to miscommunication between the front-of-house staff resulting in an 11-minute wait just for the pizza. Worse, we washed it down with a signature mocktail, the Virgin Cicchetti (B160), that tasted like fruit punch from Oishi.
Despite a generally rocky dining experience, some of the restaurant’s classical offerings do raise a glimmer of a smile. The pasta in the tagliatelle Bolognese (B240) tastes legitimately fresh and is served al dente, standing up nicely against the tomato-rich Bolognese sauce. The standard tiramisu (B220) is also a strong dish: fresh, unctuous and with a boozy kick. Although we did not try it, the tank of healthy-looking live lobsters and the fact that Cicchetti can cook a piece of fish, suggest the spaghetti lobster (B720) is worth a try, too.
If you’re looking for a lively, upscale dining setting to share on social media with your friends, this is the place for you. But if you have the palate for quality Italian dining, give Cicchetti a miss.
Venue Details
Address: Cicchetti, 1/F, Groove, Rama 1 Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-251-6551
Cuisine: Italian
Price Range: BB - BBB
Opening hours: daily 10-10:30am
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